Ca. 1870, Yi Dynasty, pear wood, hand-fashioned iron fittings, Kyung Sang Nam Do Province. 30″w, 13.5″ d, 12.25″ h
This box shows all the evidence of old age. The color is hand-rubbed natural red mineral color. The corners are protected by old-fashion iron corner braces. The pull in front is the double-hook kind. The lock-plate is a simple rectangle with clasp lock used to close the box. The inside of the box is completely paper-lined but the lining is deteriorated, with holes and wet stains. The outside, however, is in good condition and displays a wonderful patina. This is a piece for an antique connoisseur who appreciates a piece of authentic antiquity.
This is a document storage box for someone of the elite scholar class, shown by the expense of having the piece hand-rubbed in red mineral color and having the inside completely paper-lined, but otherwise the form and not details and decoration is important to him. Scholars of old were influenced by conservative and orthodox Neo-Confucianism of the time, preferring simplicity in every way of life. This piece is devoid of any decoration other than having a simple iron lock-plate and hand pull, and numerous iron corner brackets mainly to strengthen it. The appeal of this box is in its simplicity of structure and hand-rubbed coloring. The scholar would have this box with very simple low wooden corner legs put on top of a book/clothing chest lined against a wall. This box is certified by an expert in Korea in the late 1990s.